If you followed our Instagram stories this week, you will have seen some of our top tips for getting your little one to sleep through the night - every parent’s dream (no pun intended)! In case you missed it, we’re going to further explore our sleep tips below.
(Note: “Sleeping through the night” for infants typically means 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.)
If you’re struggling to help your little one get a solid night’s rest, follow these expert tips:
1. Have a bedtime routine.
Babies thrive on routine. Repetition enables an infant to learn to predict what is going to happen next, which can have a calming effect! Bedtime routines vary widely from family to family, but be sure to pick a routine that all caregivers can stick to. The individual components of your routine don’t matter as much as the consistency in using the routine itself. Some bedtime rituals include a warm bath, a bedtime story, a bottle or nursing session, lotion and massage, singing, and rocking in a glider or rocking chair. If multiple people rotate doing the bedtime routine, it may be helpful to write or type out the process so that everyone can follow the same steps!
2. Offer one last feeding.
Many experts warn against giving a bottle or nursing a baby as the primary method to help them fall asleep, but there is absolutely no harm in offering a definitive “final feeding” of the day to signal to your little one that bedtime is approaching. A full belly can help an infant sleep peacefully throughout the night! Try not to make the feeding the final part of the bedtime ritual, but incorporate it into your overall nightly routine. Remember to always burp a newborn after a feeding to avoid gas, belly aches, and spitting up.
3. Make bedtime fun.
Older babies, toddlers, and preschoolers may grow to dread bedtime as they become more curious and interactive with the amazing world around them. Winding down after a long day can be a struggle! Bedtime doesn’t have to be a chore - make it fun for all your children by incorporating imaginative, interactive activities to your bedtime routine. For example, you may choose to sing a silly song as you brush your toddler’s teeth, you may take turns counting the stairs as you climb up to bed, you can make shadow puppets on the ceiling, or you can make up fairy tales. Bedtime is often the only time of day you’ll have one-on-one time with each child, so make the most of it!
4. Head to bed earlier.
It may seem a little backwards, but putting your child to bed earlier can actually help them sleep better and longer! Waiting until your little one is overtired and grumpy can cause them to fight bedtime even harder. Anticipate when your child becomes sleepy and plan the bedtime routine well before that point. Put your child to bed at the same time each night, and try to do the same routine every night. If too much sun is causing your little one to have trouble falling asleep, try installing blackout curtains in the nursery.
5. Delay an early riser.
Babies and toddlers are notorious for being early risers. This can be exhausting for new parents! If you have a newborn or infant, try feeding them in a dark, quiet room and see if they’ll fall back asleep after their first feeding of the day. If you have an older toddler or child, consider buying a special clock that lights up when it is ok to wake up. You can set these “ok to wake” clocks to whatever time you think is appropriate - and you can even gradually train your little one to sleep later in the morning! If your little one wakes with the rising sun, try putting blackout curtains in the bedroom to block out bright morning sunlight!
Following these five simple tips and tricks can help your little one get a great night’s sleep! Always be sure to make KeaBabies a part of your little one’s routine. For example, our ultra-soft KeaBabies Baby Hooded Towel can help keep your baby comfy and warm after an evening bath! Older toddlers and young children can benefit from using the KeaBabies Toddler Pillow. We hope our products enable you and your little ones to create positive, lasting memories with each other!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Everyday is an adventure.